Brendon’s News from Elephant Plains: Salayexe and Cub with a Kill
Before we left the Lodge this morning we could hear lions calling in the eastern part of the reserve, so we headed there directly to find out if there was any action.
We found the five Birmingham Males together, and then spent most of the early hours with them as they walked along. When they went to lie down in a vast open area we were able to collect some outstanding portrait and activity shots, as they greeted each other and rubbed heads before walking along again and then resting again.
They carried on like this until they finally settled in a different wide open stretch of veld, and again they looked so fantastic in the golden morning late that our collections of images increased even more.
We heard that fresh female leopard tracks had been found and decided to investigate these. We followed them for quite a while and finally found Salayexe stalking an impala. We accompanied her as she trailed the impala, and then went into full stalking mode, even though she didn’t actually see an opportunity to make the kill.
We returned to the Lodge really delighted that we had finally seen Salayexe herself, even though the cub was nowhere to be seen –
– and this afternoon we returned to where we had left her and quickly picked up on her tracks … and those of her cub (!!!) which we followed doggedly for more than an hour.
Our determination paid off when we found Salayexe – and hooray! – the cub was there as well!
Salayexe had a fresh Impala kill up on a branch of a Jackalberry tree, and she was sprawled out on a neighbouring branch.
Of course we remained with mom and cub until darkness arrived. As we cannot use spotlights with the cub around we pushed off and returned to the Birmingham Lions for some nighttime images.
We returned to the Lodge with our plans for the morning firmly in place. As you can imagine we plan to head directly to Salayexe and cub, knowing that with such a new kill they probably are not intending to move. But this is the bush …
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